A new campaigning group – Mobilewise – don’t let it go to your head sent out an excellent press release a few days ago which took you straight to the warnings that both Blackberry and iPhone print in their ‘information sheets’, but in such small type that no one ever reads them. These tell you to keep the phone 15–25cm away from your body when using it, and especially away from the abdomens of pregnant women and children. Why would they print those warnings unless they believed that there was an inherent danger in using mobile phones, even if they are not prepared to admit it ‘in public’?
(This scary-for-those-kids’-heads picture comes from their website.)
Mobilewise is not, of course, campaigning against mobile phones as such. I do not think that anyone could deny that, although they may pose significant, if not very considerable long term health risks to users, they have also delivered such enormous benefits to everyone from rural farmers in deepest Africa to Arab spring revolutionaries, whatever about our now-chronically-over-connected developed world, that getting rid of them is just unthinkable. However, what is extremely think-able, is ways of making them safer to use, and, until such time as that has been done, restricting or reducing the risks to the most vulnerable users. So that is what Mobilewise is trying to do, focusing their attention especially on children: educate now and encourage development for the future. [Read more…]